Summary: In our pursuit of godly character we must recommit ourselves to doing family God’s way: children submit and parents nurture in God’s ways.

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Character Counts! Family Matters

(Ephesians 6:1-4)

Theme: God created the family to reflect His character.

Purpose: What do I want to happen in the hearer when I preach this sermon?

A. Increased insight. After I preach this sermon, the hearer should be able to see that the American family is under intense attack and is crumbling all around us.

B. Increased knowledge. After I preach this sermon, the hearer should be able to state that:

1. The role of children is to be under the authority of their parents. This requires submission and obedience.

2. The role of parents is to nurture, admonish, and encourage a child to adulthood rather than provoking them to wrath by discouraging them.

C. Changed attitude. After I preach this sermon, I want the hearer to determine to recommit to nurturing a godly family.

Need to be

Surfaced: The breakdown of the family threatens to destroy us as a culture.

Solution to

be Offered: God?s solution is simple: children humbly submit and parents mentor into Christian discipleship so that each generation grows up into adults that are in favor with both God and with others.

Introduction. (Get attention, surface need, make a contract to deliver a solution.)

A. Little Johnny says that his dad is a bum!

1. Little Johnny is 8 years old and the only child of divorced parents.

2. He lives with his mom, whom he adores, and visits his dad (and his dad?s latest girlfriend) twice a month.

3. Johnny?s dad never could be satisfied to derive his status and significance from his role as husband and father.

4. He fell into the modern trap that began to develop in the late 19th century and became the norm in the 20th:

a) A man?s value and status is derived from the world outside the home.

b) His occupational standing and his economic power determine his worth as a person.

c) These things also determine his authority in the home and his worthiness as a father and as a husband.

5. What Johnny?s dad has experienced is a shift in our culture:

a) Being a parent used to carry with it an ascribed value ? you were respected and honored because of the role you filled.

b) Now parenthood, as with almost everything else in our culture, carries with it only an achieved value ? you are respected and honored only to the extent that you earn it.

6. What is so confusing about all of this is determining how and when a parent has done enough to earn the honor and respect of their family.

a) Little Johnny thinks his dad?s a bum because daddy never shows up at his birthday parties. (The extravagant gifts, although certainly enjoyed, ultimately do not make up for daddy?s absence).

b) Johnny?s mom is in a quandary because, although she does not like hearing Johnny call his father a bum, she really can?t begrudge the little guy?s judge of character.

B. The result?

1. Confusion within the family.

2. Confusion within the culture.

3. A crisis that threatens to destroy us as a people.

4. But, as always, God gives us the answer. It is simple and yet it is comprehensive.

C. Outline:

1. Children must obey and honor your parents.

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